This is a devotional song which narrates the incident when, Shri Ram needed help from Kevat (Boatman) to get across the holy river Ganga.
The lyrics of this bhajan are beautiful and meaningful. The lyrics shows the deep insight the poor boatman had. It contains a short meaningful story.
Sometimes God requires the help from the devotees. Lord Rama had to cross the Ganga, Shri Rama, Shri Sita Maiya and Shree Lakshman approached the banks of the river. They had left the Kingdom of Avadh (Ayodhya) they were suppose to rule.
The mind of boatman on the river banks is filled with joy as he sees Lord Rama his God approaches him. With folded hands he is lost in the divine ecstasy.
The lord asks him to carry them across to the shore. Kevat had a very intelligent and devotional answer for the same. He says that he will have to wash the feet of Shri Rama, as Shri Rama's feet had amazing powers and he the poor boatman would be in difficulty if his boat turns into a lady.
This the boatman referred to an incident when a lady who was turned into a stone by curse was brought back to life as the holy feet of Shri Rama touched her stones form.
With this excuse the kevat gets a great opportunity to wash the holy feet and receive the Charnamrit.
Kevat leads the One of whom the Ved, Vedas and Granths (Sacred Texts) praises. The flowers falls down fro heaven as He steers the boat through the water of Ganges and the joy of devotion in his heart.
He takes Shri Rama, Shree Sita and Laxhman across the shores. Across the shores has a spiritual and mystical or symbloic meaning. That of steering one across the worldly and illusory ocean of life and death to the ocean of SatChitAnanda the consciousness of truth consciousness and bliss. Shirdi Sai Baba used tera beda par ho jayega तेरा बेडा पर हो जायेगा many a times. It was symbolic of freeing one from the pangs of birth and death, joys and sorrows.
When on the other banks when Shri Rama began to give the fare for the boat, the devotional and intelligent denied the money as the fare. He asked the Highest from the one who could give the highest. There a beautiful article on what one should ask from God. He asks for the beda par he says that since he steered them across the shores in return he would like Shri Rama to steer him across the shore too. The shore of life and death, joys, hopes, agony and weight.
Bolo Jai Shri Ram.
Below the the lyrics in English text
* Kabhi Kabhi Bhagwan Ko bhi Bhagto se kaam pade, Jana tha Ganga par prabhu Kevat ki naav chade, (2)
Avadh chod prabhu van ko ayee, Siya Ram Lakhan Ganga Tat ayee, Kevat man hi man harshaye, ghar baithe parbhu darshan payee,
Haath jod kar prabhu ke aage kevat magan khade,
Prabhu bole tum naav chalao, par hame kevat pahuchao, Kevat kehata suno hamari Charan dhul ki maya bhari, Main garib naya meri mahi na hoi pade,
Kevat daud ke jal bhar laya, Charan dhoye charanamrit paya, ved granth jis ke yaash gaye kevat unko naav chadaye, barse phool gagan se aise bhakt ke bhaag bade
Chali naav Ganga ki Dharaa, Siya Ram Lakhan ko paar utara, prabhu dene lage naav utrai kevat kahe nahi Raghurai,
paar kiya maine Tumko, Ab Tu mohe paar kare